The Boy Who Wanted To Ride On A Pig

26 June 2012

Last week Arthur and I spent the morning at Blackberry Farm. It was an organised trip with his pre-school; the first he'd ever been on. I asked him prior to arriving at the farm what he'd like to do when we got there: as well as animals the farm has a brilliant outdoor play area. His answer was that he firstly wanted to eat his packed lunch (it was only 10am) and secondly that he would like to ride on a pig.

He graciously excepted that he couldn't, on this occasion, ride on a pig and happily settled on riding a rather sweet pony. In fact he worked his way round all the animals; feeding goats, holding guinea pigs and mice and befriending the farmyard cats. Then he focused his energy on making the most of the play area with its huge slides, trampolines and adventure playground.

You see that brightly-coloured dome-like structure? Well that was called 'the giant pillow' ... and the best thing about it? Grown-ups were allowed to bounce on it too!

Tynemouth Part Two

22 June 2012

Go back seven years and my brother and I (along with my parents) all lived with in a couple of miles of each other. 

We were first to disband the family unit, moving to Hove. Then, around a year later, my parents moved to the Isle of Wight and finally my brother and his family moved to Tynemouth. That must have been around five years ago now, but I still can't quite get my head around the distance: how spread out we all are. I so wish we were all nearer, especially since children have entered our lives. But in the modern world it doesn't work quite like that does it. 

But there is a flip side: when we do get together it's for a decent chunk of quality time and we always have a really great time. It's also pretty fortunate that we all live in lovely places: places that are consistently a pleasure to visit.

Until my brother moved to Tynemouth, there wasn't really anywhere in the north of England that I felt a particular fondness for. Don't get me wrong, I've visited some lovely places, but circumstances made them one-off visits meaning the bond couldn't be built. My recent trip to Tynemouth seemed to affirm that I've found my northern town. Tynemouth is truly lovely: very pretty, full of history and its coastline is just breathtaking. If you get the chance to visit, jump at it. You'll be glad that you did.

Happy Father's Day

17 June 2012

I've been as busy as a bee lately, so haven't had much of a chance to write any posts. It's a shame to have nothing much to publish for Father's Day, as after all Buttercup Days likes a bit of nostalgic celebration and is family focused at its core. But hey, life takes over sometimes. I couldn't however resist putting up these lovely pictures of this daddies girl. Looking at these pictures now as a parent myself is funny: it's a reminder that your parents have been in your shoes and it's now that it really makes you truly appreciate all they've ever done for you.

Happy Father's Day to all those daddies out there: we love you. x

Tynemouth Part One: The Jubilee

8 June 2012

Outside the wind has been howling and the rain beating against the window. It must be half term! However, I'm not too bothered about cabin fever as we had a great start to the week visiting my brother and his family in Tynemouth. It's fair to say that the weather was fresh, but the sun shone for most of it. 

Our four day trip coincided with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend. None of us had really planned anything 'Jubilee' specific, but with Lily, Arthur and their cousin Scarlett singing endless rounds of 'God Save The Queen' we quickly pulled out all the stops with a tin of M&S Jubilee Shortbread (very tasty) and some plastic red, white and blue bunting strung up outside the house. Both worked a treat and got us all in the mood. On the Monday morning we headed to Tynemouth Station to join in their Jubilee celebrations.

As free events go, it was pretty good and the kids enjoyed it. The hub of the celebrations were laid on by Dear Lido, a touring dance theatre company. Alice In Wonderland characters roamed the market  stopping to ask children to help them paint the roses on their rose tree. I can only assume that that happens in the story: I can't remember. There were craft tables where all ages were encouraged to sit down and make regal keepsakes to take home such as diy bunting and design-your-own jubilee tea-towels. There was tea and cake too and the opportunity to have your hair and makeup done 1953 style. I was tempted with the hair and makeup, but decided to give it a miss. 

Lily and Scarlett however, had no hesitation. Whilst I spent much of the day looking a little wind swept, the two girls looked very much the part with their sophisticated coiffures which remained intact until bedtime.

To top it all, when we put on the television to see the local news that evening, who should be starring in the footage? Non other than our two girls. That was the cherry on the cake for them!